August 30, 2006
The state Elections Board did the right thing today. By determining that a substantial portion of the campaign money from special interest political action committees that Congressman Mark Green has accumulated to help finance his campaign for governor does not comply with state campaign finance laws, the Board acted in the public interest and struck a blow for longstanding protections in state law guarding against special interest ownership of our government.
The state laws in question in this case are clear cut. Candidates for governor can take no more than $485,000 from PACs in a four-year election cycle. Congressman Green’s campaign for the state’s highest office has taken $667,545 from PACs. State law also says PACs that give to candidates for state office in Wisconsin must be registered in Wisconsin. Of Green’s PAC money, $467,845 was donated by PACs not registered in Wisconsin. Elections Board rule 1.395 says that money transferred from a federal campaign account to a state campaign committee can only be spent on a campaign for state office if the funds comply with all of Wisconsin’s campaign finance laws.